Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It has an oxidative effect, which means it protects the cells in the body from harmful influences such as free radicals. It also strengthens the immune system and is involved in many metabolic processes.
Vitamin C is one of the water-soluble vitamins. In contrast to fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body and must be constantly supplied through food. This is particularly important with vitamin C because it is involved in numerous processes in the body. In addition to its antioxidant effect as a free radical scavenger, it plays a role in the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and adrenaline. In addition, it promotes the absorption of iron, helps to break down cholesterol, and is involved in the formation of collagen, which the body needs for connective tissue, bones, and cartilage. Vitamin C is therefore multi-talented.
Can I overdose on vitamin C?
The body excretes excess vitamin C in the urine. An overdose is therefore unlikely. Doses of up to 1,000 milligrams a day are considered safe. From 3,000 to 4,000 grams a day, temporary gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea can occur.
Cold or even cancer: which diseases can vitamin C help with?
Vitamin C is often used as a remedy for colds. So far, however, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin C in high doses can protect against colds. Only vitamin C deficiency should be avoided. Preventive use is therefore not recommended. Taking it can only have positive effects on people who do heavy physical work (including competitive athletes) or those who are in a very cold environment. Lower risk of colds after taking vitamin C was found in these groups.
Vitamin C inhibits the formation of nitrosamines in the body – these can be carcinogenic. The use of vitamins in cancer is still being debated by scientists. Studies have provided conflicting results. In any case, only high-dose preparations would be suitable for cancer, the use of which is not advisable without medical advice.